A former senior member of the Christ Church West branch of the Barbados Labour Party is contending that the branch’s executive and other members of the party are ready to support any BLP candidate other than sitting member of parliament, Dr Maria Agard.
And the source who asked not to be identified, further contended that Agard was her greatest enemy, not the executive members of the branch nor the constituents.
The source raised these concerns today during an interview with Barbados TODAY following Sunday’s annual general meeting of the branch which had to be aborted after tempers flared.
The individual said: “ Agard is digging a grave for herself because never before have I heard of a sitting member of parliament embroiled in so many controversies. Sunday night was the first time I have seen people so disrespectful to a sitting member of parliament. I do not think anybody persecutes Agard. You do not have to listen to me, you can go through the constituency and ask people if they see Agard and if they are please with her stewardship. Constituents have not seen her too much over the past three years. Some constituents are concerned that she partnered with Minister of Sport, Stephen Lashley, in a football competition, a development unheard of in party politics.”
Our source, who has been a card-bearing member of the BLP for decades and a resident of Christ Church West constituency for an equal number of years became incensed on Sunday night when he sought to nominate outgoing president, Lisa Jauggernauth, for another term of office only to be told that his name was not on the list of constituents for
“There is a high level of disconnect between Agard and her constituency. Here it is I had returned to the constituency to live since November last year and she was unaware of it. I have voted in Christ Church West most of my life. Even if I did not live in the area I always returned to cast my vote for the BLP candidate. The presiding officer at Sunday night’s election, St Thomas MP, Cynthia Forde, knows that I am a fully paid up member of the party. This entitles me to participate in any election to choose an executive of my branch,” the source argued.
He recalled visiting party headquarters to find out why his name was not on the list of members of the Christ Church West branch only to be told that it was on the list at headquarters.
Responding to rumours that general secretary of the BLP, Dr Jerome Walcott, was seeking to replace Agard as the BLP candidate in the constituency, the source asked: “ Why would Walcott get embroiled in a dispute when it is not to his advantage?”
He said several members were concerned at the level of Agard’s representation because the 2013 election was the first time that a BLP candidate lost a polling in any station since Sir Henry Forde cemented support in the constituency.
They noted that Democratic Labour Party candidate, Verla De Peiza, gave a good showing in a constituency generally regarded as a BLP stronghold.
Another longstanding member of the BLP also voiced concern at the current level of representation
in the constituency.
When contacted this evening, Cynthia Forde said a meeting is scheduled for tomorrow with the executive of the branch, Agard and the party’s secretariat to iron out any discrepancies in the two lists.
However, when contacted Agard suggested that Barbados Today get in contact with her constituency assistant Linda Freeman who promised to give a detailed listing of her achievements in the constituency.